Alexei Ratmansky created his stunning adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for The National Ballet of Canada in 2011 to open the company’s 60th anniversary season. The production is true to the colour and character of 16th century Verona and jampacked with dancing – fast footwork, expressive pas de deux and gorgeous ensemble pieces blending classical and folkdance elements. Romeo and Juliet is pure Ratmansky, a thoughtful and visually striking revival of one of ballet’s great narrative works.
Verona is the site of a longstanding feud between two families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Romeo, a Montague, falls in love with Juliet, a forbidden Capulet, and they marry in secret. When Juliet learns she is pledged in marriage to someone else, she takes a sleeping potion to convince her family she is dead. She sends news of her plan to Romeo but he does not receive it. Believing Juliet dead, Romeo takes his own life and she, on waking, takes hers, joining him in death.
Born in St. Petersburg, Alexei Ratmansky is a choreographer and former ballet dancer. He is Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre and former Artistic Director of The Bolshoi Ballet. He has created new work for ballet companies around the world, including Romeo and Juliet for The National Ballet of Canada in 2011.
Russian-born Sergei Prokofiev was one of the major composers of the 20th century, known and celebrated for his symphonies, operas, piano sonatas and ballets, notably Romeo and Juliet and Peter and the Wolf, widely considered his masterpieces.
“A Romeo and Juliet for our time” —Los Angeles Register
“Of the six versions I have seen by choreographers alive today, this is much the best.” —The New York Times
“A must-see… Ratmansky’s greatness lies in his ability to mirror music in dance. The emotional arc of the characters is cunningly shown in movement. In fact, the music and the dance seem inseparable.” —The Globe and Mail
Set, Costume and Properties Design:
Lead philanthropic support for Romeo and Juliet is provided by Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., with additional generous support from Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, an anonymous friend of the National Ballet and Walter Carsen, O.C.
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2019/20 marks Artistic Director Karen Kain’s 50th anniversary with The National Ballet of Canada.
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See the Music, Hear the Dance
Thursday March 19 at 6:25 pm
Join Music Director and Principal Conductor David Briskin and The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra for a special ballet talk that provides a deeper understanding of Prokofiev’s majestic score for Romeo and Juliet. The 25-minute talk takes place in the auditorium at 6:25 pm. Doors open at 6:10 pm.
The National Ballet invites you to attend the Ballet Talk 45 minutes before every show in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Please note that there will be no Ballet Talk on Thursday March 19. See the Music, Hear the Dance will take place, beginning at 6:25, instead. Please see above for more information on See the Music, Hear the Dance.
This timeless story is magnificently brought to life by the National Ballet's dancers. They relish rich roles like these to connect with audiences, showcase their talents and push themselves to even greater heights.
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